PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Waiting for the bus can sometimes be a drag, but city officials are rolling out a new program to help.
Starting today, transit riders will be able to view real-time locations for certain Port Authority bus routes.
A new website from the Port Authority shows you exactly when the next bus is coming along the East Busway.
“This has been one of the main requests we’ve had from riders for years,” Scott Vetere with the Port Authority said.
Using GPS technology, some of which had previously been installed on buses for the Port Authority to monitor, riders can now track P1 buses along the East Busway.
The link is on the Port Authority’s website (http://188.8.131.52/bustime/home.jsp). Riders will get the next arrival times and a second screen will actually show the buses moving along the route, which is updated every 30 seconds.
“Actually I’m running late today so that would have been really helpful,” one woman said.
“You will be able to check your computer at home, or at work, or on your smart phone to know where your bus is and when it is next to arrive,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.
Right now, the information is only on the website and is still considered a pilot program, but there are possibilities for future apps for smartphones and tablets.
“It’s very similar to systems in Chicago and D.C. They opened their information up and some of them have as many as 15 different apps,” Vetere said.
Responding to the needs of the customer, the Port Authority said they’re trying to make mass transit travel more modern and more user-friendly. Even though it’s being called a pilot program, real-time monitoring will eventually expand to include most, if not all, buses.
“Hopefully in about three months we’ll start to expand to some other routes here through the East End and if all goes well, by sometime late next year, we’ll be able to do it system wide,” Fitzgerald said.